The use of social media in politics: is it a good thing?

Social media is the “in” thing – and it has been for a while. Twitter has been around for 10 years and many government organisations are on it and on other social media sites.

From the Prime Minister, David Cameron to the Whitehouse in America, we are closer than ever before to politicians and the political world.

But is that a good thing?

Hundreds of years ago, the political arena wasn’t as public as it is now.

Fast forward to the present day and we can watch a debate on Parliament from our phones and other devices, interact with MPs and government organisations on Twitter and Facebook and know what’s happening over in American politics in a few clicks.

I support politicians and the political arena using social media for a number of reasons.

Here’s why.

In my opinion, it brings politicians closer to the general public. If politicians are using social media, we have another channel in which to contact them about issues we have in the communities we live in. We can also show our support for them. They can update us on their whereabouts and what they are up to and talk to us directly on the issues that they care about.

For example, a politician said they were safe today, following the attacks in Brussels. A few decades ago, we wouldn’t have known. But now we do. It’s something I care about personally, especially since one of the MEPs for the region who I interviewed on Friday was in the area.

It’s a personable medium, so people may feel closer to a politician if they are on Facebook and Twitter and it’s especially important for engaging young people in the political arena.

It brings political knowledge and debate into the public arena too.

MPs and politicians can voice their views and express their opinions on things that are being debated in Parliament. It means people can talk about it and help MPs in Parliament when they talk about their constituents who may be affected by decisions made in and by the Government.

It’s a powerful tool indeed in that respect.

It’s also a great way to disseminate information quickly.

Politicians can voice their views quickly about a subject and it can be shared quickly too. It’s an apt way for journalists to get information, but it’s great for the general public too as they can gauge where their MP stands on an issue.

It’s been used a lot in this way in relation to the EU referendum.

There are so many reasons why social media within the political arena is a good thing.

I could go on and on, but those are my three main reasons.

There is a balanced side to this, of course, but I’m in support of the political arena using social media.


What do you think? Is it a good thing? Let me know in the comments below or on my social media accounts.


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